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Miami at Indiana

Pacers restrict Heat to 70 points in best defensive effort

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers have some fight left in them after all.

The Pacers, hanging on in the Eastern Conference playoff race, used their best defensive effort of the season to beat the Miami Heat 95-70 on Friday night.

The Pacers claimed their largest victory margin of the season and shot 51.5 percent from the field to win for the second time in four games after an 11-game losing streak.

Most importantly, the win came against a playoff-caliber team. The Pacers hadn't defeated a team with a winning record since beating the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 2.

"It's a legitimate win, but at the same time, it's only going to be big if we continue to play well and win games," Mike Dunleavy, who scored 20 points for the Pacers, said.

Danny Granger scored 22 points and Jermaine O'Neal had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana.

The Pacers had lost back-to-back against Houston and San Antonio earlier in the week, and they couldn't afford to lose more ground to Orlando, New Jersey and New York in the race for the seventh and eighth in the East.

"It was a good game for us, but now we have a tougher task -- and that's trying to stay in the playoffs," O'Neal said. "It just takes one day to lose to be right back out of the playoffs."

The Pacers have won their last two home games by a combined 48 points.

Shaquille O'Neal led Miami with 13 points and was the only Heat player to reach double figures. He played just 25 minutes with foul trouble.

Miami shot 32.5 percent, its lowest percentage of the season, and it was the fewest points the Pacers have allowed this season.

"We didn't have anything from the first possession, and they took advantage of it," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "They were playing a very big game, and we were just playing a game."

Indiana made 11 of its first 13 shots. A jumper by Jermaine O'Neal gave the Pacers a 29-7 lead, their last basket in a 15-0 run.

"We did not bring anything at all to the game," Riley said. "Their collective sense of urgency and desperation and the fact that they were just so good in the first quarter -- the game is over with."

Miami cut Indiana's lead to 57-42 on a bucket by Shaquille O'Neal with 8:15 left in the third quarter, but Jermaine O'Neal's three-point play with 5:07 left in the quarter bumped Indiana's lead to 64-44. The Pacers led 72-49 at the end of the period.

"We knew they were going to make a run because Pat Riley is a motivator," Jermaine O'Neal said. "They made a run in the first two minutes, but we withstood the run and got back to doing what got us the lead -- and that's sharing the ball and playing tough defense."

Dunleavy shot 6-for-10 from the field, including 3-for-4 on 3-pointers. It was the fourth time in March that Dunleavy has scored at least 20 points.

"Dunleavy's shooting has improved steadily since he's been here," Carlisle said. "He's worked on it, and he's getting more confidence with how we play."

Riley saw a different team than the one he scouted.

"I can't believe they lost 12 out of 13 games the way they played tonight," he said. "Maybe they've gone through it and probably shook it off. They looked as good as anybody we've played in a long time."

Miami has still won 10 of its last 12 games.

"They just made shots," Miami guard Eddie Jones said. "For us, nobody made shots ... and nobody defended tonight. It's a bad loss, but it's just one game. We just didn't have it tonight."

Notes

  • Miami is 11-5 with G Jason Williams back in the lineup after he sat out with an abdominal tear.
  • Miami G Jones was averaging 14 points per game in March, but he was held to two points on 1-for-5 shooting.
  • Miami reserve C Alonzo Mourning sat out with tendinitis in his right knee. He was injured Sunday in a loss to Orlando. He sat out the Heat's victory over Atlanta on Wednesday night and his status is day-to-day, a Heat spokesman said.
  • Neither team had an offensive rebound in the first quarter.
  • Indiana G Darrell Armstrong missed a shot in the fourth quarter and fell to the floor in front of Shaquille O'Neal, his former Orlando teammate. O'Neal playfully held Armstrong's jersey to prevent him from running downcourt to play defense.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Danny Granger scores 22 points to lead the Pacers to their largest victory margin this season. (AP)
Danny Granger scores 22 points to lead the Pacers to their largest victory margin this season. (AP)

Scoreboard
Miami (37-31) 923172170
Indiana (31-37) «3319202395
MIA:S. O'Neal 13 Pts
MIA:M. Doleac 9 Reb
MIA:J. Williams 4 Ast
IND:D. Granger 22 Pts
IND:J. O'Neal 12 Reb
IND:J. Tinsley 8 Ast
Players of the Game
IndianaMiami

D. Granger

S. O'Neal
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
22521330
Miami
J. Posey, SF313-80-01038
U. Haslem, PF282-81-15035
J. Williams, PG262-81-14405
S. O'Neal, C254-65-1130413
E. Jones, SG211-50-01302
D. Wright, SF293-92-35328
A. Walker, PF200-84-66014
M. Doleac, C193-81-19137
G. Payton, PG153-60-00207
E. Barron, C101-40-04012
C. Quinn, PG104-70-00109
W. Simien, PF60-30-00010
A. Mourning, CDid Not Play
J. Kapono, SFDid Not Play
D. Wade, PGDid Not Play
Totals 26-8014-2338141870
 32.5%60.9% 
Indiana
D. Granger, SF349-152-352222
J. Tinsley, PG281-30-02823
J. O'Neal, PF275-125-5124315
M. Dunleavy, SG266-105-631420
J. Foster, C262-20-05134
S. Williams, SF242-51-16235
T. Murphy, C195-60-041211
I. Diogu, PF181-41-25213
D. Armstrong, PG163-80-02408
K. McLeod, PG120-10-01100
D. Harrison, C51-20-21002
M. Baston, PF30-02-20002
M. Daniels, SGDid Not Play
O. Greene, PGDid Not Play
R. Marshall, SFDid Not Play
Totals 35-6816-2146262095
 51.5%76.2% 
Other Games
NJ 82 Final
Orl 90
Char 97 Final
Phi 106
Den 94 Final
Tor 121
Port 102 Final
Atl 100
Dal 109 Final
Bos 95
NY 68 Final
Cle 90
LAL 111 Final
NO 105
Det 89 Final
SA 90
Wash 128 Final
GS 135
Utah 72 Final
LAC 104
Min 82 Final
Sea 85